Sometimes you have to win ugly. On Saturday, No. 10 Penn State (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) certainly won in ugly fashion. With a handful of roster changes for one reason or the other, the Nittany Lions pulled away for a 27-6 win against Rutgers (2-10, 0-9 Big Ten) after leading by just a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The win by Penn State gave the program a season with double digits in the win total. It’s the third time in the last four years Penn State has won 10 or more games. This marks the first time since Penn State’s first four seasons in the Big Ten that the Nittany Lions have won 10 or more games in three out of four seasons. Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993 and went 10-2 with a victory in the Citrus Bowl. The following season, Penn State went 12-0 with a victory in the Rose Bowl against Oregon. After a 9-3 season in 1995, Penn State went 11-2 in 1996. Between 1997 and 2015, Penn State had four years with 10 or more wins, including back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2008 and 2009.
Penn State is hoping an ugly win won’t damage their ranking too badly in the upcoming College Football Playoff rankings, but the Nittany Lions could be in a position to return to one of the New Years Six bowl games. The Rose Bowl will likely take the highest-ranked Big Ten team available (if Ohio State goes to the playoff, Penn State could potentially be the next in line depending on what happens with Wisconsin in the rankings). The Orange Bowl takes the highest-ranked available team from the Big Ten or SEC (or Notre Dame), and the Cotton Bowl will have an at-large spot open to pair with the highest-ranked Group of 5 conference champion.
Journey Brown powered Penn State to a sluggish win against the Scarlet Knights. The breakout star running back for the Nittany Lions had three rushing touchdowns and 103 yards in the win. Will Levis got the start at quarterback after replacing an injured Sean Clifford last week against Ohio State (Clifford did not play in the game). Levis led the team with 108 yards while Brown was right behind him with 103 yards. Levis only managed to pass for 81 yards, however, in a rough offensive showing by the Nittany Lions. Rutgers put up an inspiring fight and out-gained Penn State 383-333 in the game. Rutgers also string together more first downs (19-17) and won the turnover battle (+1). But when push came to shove, Penn State prevailed on the ground and walked away with another double-digit victory.
The Boise State football team is the latest to see the beneficial side of the portal.
Earlier this month, Brock Miller entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. Two weeks later, the NC State linebacker announced on Twitter that he will be transferring into the Boise State football program.
As of yet, the Broncos have not announced Miller’s official addition to the roster.
Miller, a three-star 2016 signee, played in 31 games during his time with the Wolfpack. He started 13 of those appearances, including 11 in 2019.
This past season, his seven tackles for loss were tied for third on the team. He had 40 total tackles, which were good for eighth.
Miller is leaving the Wolfpack as a graduate transfer. Next season will be the Florida native’s final year of eligibility.
In December of 2017, Kukea Emmsley posted on Twitter that he dreamt of being a Boise State football player. A little over two years later, the dream is over. Or, it’s on its way to being over.
According to 247Sports.com, Emmsley has entered himself into the NCAA transfer database. The move to the portal by the redshirt defensive end would be the first step in leaving the Boise State football team. Emmsley could, though, pull his name and remain with the Broncos.
Conversely, the Boise State football program could pull his scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered the portal.
A four-star 2018 signee, Emmsley was rated as the No. 4 player regardless of position in the state of Hawaii. He was also the No. 25 outside linebacker in that class. Of the 25 recruits signed by Boise State football that year, only one on the defensive side of the ball, Chris Mitchell, was rated higher than Emmsley.
Despite that pedigree, Emmsley failed to live up to the pre-career billing.
As a true freshman in 2019, Emmsley took a redshirt. This past season, Emmsley made his Boise State debut in an Oct. 19 loss to BYU. As it turns out, that was Emmsley’s lone appearance.
Emmsley will likely have to sit out the 2020 season if he follows through on a transfer and moves to another FBS school. That would leave him with two years of eligibility beginning in 2021.
We don’t know yet who will be the head coach of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team. We do, though, now who it won’t be.
In days after Nick Rolovich left to replace Mike Leach at Washington State, Robert Anae‘s name has been mentioned prominently as a potential successor. Tuesday, however, the Virginia offensive coordinator announced in a statement that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job as the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors head coach.
“After careful consideration, I am withdrawing my application for the University of Hawaii head football coach position,” the statement began. “I have been overwhelmed with the commitment by Coach [Bronco] Mendenhall and the leadership of [athletic director] Carla Williams. I am excited and energized to close out our recruiting class as we continue our quest for the conference championship.”
The 61-year-old Anae, who played his college football at BYU, was born in Hawaii and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team. Anae just completed his fourth season as Virginia’s coordinator. He also coaches the team’s wide receivers.
With Anae out of the picture, Hawaii could stay in-house for its new head coach. Craig Stutzmann, UH’s quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator and Mark Banker, UH’s assistant head coach and linebackers coach, have been mentioned as possibilities. The offensive line coach at Syracuse, Mike Cavanaugh, has been floated as a possibility as well.
Count the Penn State football program as the next FBS school facing a potential personnel loss.
First reported by the SEC Network‘s Cole Cubelic, defensive end Daniel Joseph has taken the first step in leaving the Penn State football team by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database. 247Sports.com subsequently confirmed the initial report.
A four-star 2016 signee, Joseph was rated as the No. 12 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 3 player regardless of position in the state of Illinois.
Joseph took a redshirt as a true freshman. The next three seasons, Joseph appeared in 33 games. A dozen of those appearances came during the 2019 campaign.
In those three seasons, the defensive lineman was credited with 29 tackles, 5½ tackles for loss, five sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
On the last depth chart of the 2019 season, Joseph was listed No. 3 behind starter Yetur Gross-Matos and backup Shane Simmons. Gross-Matos confirmed in early December that he will be leaving the Nittany Lions early for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Joseph is the second Nittany Lion to hit the portal this offseason. Earlier this month, offensive lineman Hunter Kelly entered his name into the transfer database. Both Kelly and Joseph will be leaving the Penn State football team as graduate transfers.